Happy New Year! What I’m Bringing From 2017 Into 2018: The Best of 2017

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Goodbye 2017. Hello 2018. With everyone focused on starting anew, resolutions, and wiping the slate clean, I thought I’d share some of my favorites from 2017 which will be making the transition into the new year with me.

The Bags

Palm Springs Mini Backpack: Hands down my easiest go to bag for running around the neighborhood with my daughter. I’ll be posting my one year review and wear and tear on YouTube this week. I’ve never regretted splurging on this bag.

Gucci SoHo Disco Bag: I love this bag because it’s the crossover between a personal bag and a work bag. I can fit my work keys or a diaper in it and it’s small enough to walk around town or take to the playground.

The Accessories

Louis Vuitton Small Leather Goods:

It took me forever to find a system which worked for me. I change bags a lot and it’s easier when I can grab just a few items to transfer. The winners: a mini pochette (or toiletries 15), a cles, and the round coin purse. Every bag, every time.

Leather iPhone Case(s):

Although not the most protective, they are they most stylish and professional. Right now I’m sporting a snap on case from ullu but I have a soft spot for Twelve South as well. Some of my cases have credit card slots, some don’t , but they all have that soft, lived in, leather look and sleek design.

The Apps

Day One:

I’ve kept my digital journal since 2010 and I’ve never looked back. I started using DayOne back in ‘11 but it’s made my 2017 favorites list because I finally splurged on the subscription service enhancing my experience. Unlimited journals. Lost of photos. A secure server. Password protected.

Awesome Calendar:

Yep, that’s it’s name and that’s what it is, an awesome calendar. I’m not anti paper planner, I use an Erin Condren monthly planner for work and an LV pm agenda next to my bed. I carry a Field Notes notebook with me just about everywhere but my digital calendar is my life line. What I love about Awesome Calendar is how customizable it is. I can add photos, stickers, color code, attach notes, directions, and review what I did on this day in history (because sometimes you’re just curious). This is the closest app to my college planner I’d spend hours decorating with magazine cut outs.

The Beauty

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation:

I’d heard somewhere that women over 40 shouldn’t use powder because it settles into fine lines and wrinkles. While I’m sure that’s true for some women, I’m still pretty oily and powder foundation helps control that. The formula is light and comfortable while providing complete coverage.

Bangs:

I’m not immune to wrinkles and the saying “bangs or Botox” definitely holds some truth. Besides, ever since my daughter saw Iron Man 3 and said I was Pepper Potts, I have a new affinity for my fringe. As much as I love changing up my look, I think I’ll keep the bangs another year.

The Fashion

Zara:

Zara still dominates my closet for shoes and tops. Unfortunately, the brand has vanity sized me out of pants. In an effort to be more inclusive and diverse the smallest pants size Zara carries in most styles has a 26” waist. But, the brand continues to be innovative, trendy, and affordable so I can spend top dollar on more expensive jeans elsewhere.

The Guilt App:

Speaking of denim, Guilt offers a wide variety of styles, brands, and sizes. I’ve even been able to find a size 22 on occasion. The best part is most of the merchandise is discounted. Guilt carries more than jeans, you can find everything from designer bags to vacation getaways.

Remember, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. There’s no need to get caught up in the hype. If you love something, keep it. Happy New Year.

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The Bag Has Been Found!!!! 

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The bag has been found! Hallelujah. What couldn’t be accomplished in three weeks was accomplished in three days when I started to use my voice and the power of the internet. Go social media. If social media is the bane of interpersonal relationships, it’s the champion of customer service. Here is what I’ve learned from my experience:1. Pay attention! It turns out they did have camera footage, they just hadn’t received it when they made their first offer. I’m lucky that they keep their footage for an extended period of time. I should’ve paid closer attention, checked on my bags more often and caught the problem sooner. This wasn’t anyone’s “fault” but I should have been more vigilant. 

2. Call always. Call often. As great as email is for leaving a paper trail, noting beats speaking with a real person. The customer service representatives were great. And somehow, even though it was written in the emails, it was still being miscommunicated that we were looking for a Speedy 30 and not a Speedy 35b. It was Stacey in customer care who caught the error. 

3. Skip the validation. This wouldn’t have happened if I had sent the bags directly to the realreal company warehouse. I sent the bags to a validation specialist FIRST to get a price quote. It was somewhere in the transfer between validation and warehouse where things got funky. What I think happened was that the bag in question was removed from the box and brought in separately. I can’t be sure. But it fits with what happened. 

4. The words “legal” and “freelance writer” get some attention. Don’t use them lightly and don’t lie about your intentions. When they initially offered me $200 based, of course, on the wrong bag I meant it. I’ve subsequently been given a very fair price. 

So, it all worked out. Thankfully. And I learned something. Which is good, right? And maybe you’ve learned something…or gained knowledge from my experience. 

You Have to Know What You’re Looking For. 

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The saga continues…First of all, I want to say that TheRealReal did reach out to me today and it appears someone is paying attention. Furthermore, just remember that every time you deal with a customer service representative, you’re dealing with someone totally unrelated to the problem. They’re just doing their job. So be nice to them. Today I spoke with Stacy who help ease my worry. It turns out that the company is NOT stopping their investigation, which is what I want. I want to find this bag. End goal. I kinda feel as though the money is already lost, but I want that bag found. It’s a personal pride issue. And I remember a time when I was home on maternity leave that this money would have made a huge difference, so I want to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. 

Here is what I learned today:

– First, the offer of $200 was based on them looking for the wrong bag. Yep. Not even looking for the correct bag. They were looking for a Speedy 30. Mine is a Speedy 35b. That’s a significant price difference. And now I have them trying to find the correct bag. For the record Speedys range in size from nano to 40. 40 is like luggage. I’d originally thought I’d use the 35 as a diaper bag, but it was just too large and cumbersome for my 5’2” 95 pound frame. I actually got tangled in it once. The “b” stands for BANDOULIERE. What it really comes down to is the “b” has a crossbody strap where the classic Speedy does not. The current retail price of this bag is $1,410. The retail price of the bag they thought they were looking for is $970. 

– Second, according to them, the monitory offer is not a settlement. It does not mean that they stop looking for the bag. I did not get this impression from the original email, but…maybe that was just the way I interpreted it. 

– Finally, although camera footage was requested, it was never obtained. Interesting. It was requested again at the time I was on the phone. 

So…we shall see. The fact that the company is willing to work with me says a lot. And now we’re looking for the correct bag, which makes a huge difference. Again, I shall keep you posted as the saga continues. 

A Very RealReal Problem With Online Consignment 

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In 1951 Ray Bradbury predicted a futuristic world in which people wouldn’t leave their homes electing instead to remain indoors “Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy. The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the gray or multicolored lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.” (“The Pedestrian”). Well, Mr. Bradbury, you were correct but it wasn’t television that dehumanized us: It was the internet. I’m going through a particularly stressful situation with a consignment company called TheRealReal. They’ve lost a fairly expensive bag I sent to them in July and are attempting to get me to settle for a nominal amount of money. I do want to be compensated for the bag (a Louis Vuitton Speedy B 35 purchased 8/4/16) but more than that I want to find out how this could have happened and prevent it from happening to anyone else. So how is this the fault of the internet? Technically, I guess it isn’t, but at no time in the past three weeks since the discovery of the problem, has anyone from the company called me personally. My only telephone conversation was initiated by me and despite the customer service representative acknowledging the fact that I was clearly upset no further personal communication was ever attempted. Everything was communicated via email. I find this an insult added to my injury. 

Let me explain exactly what happened and how the bag went missing:

– At the end of July 2017 I consigned five bags with TheRealReal, a highly reputable online consignment business. The company sent me a packing list which had all five items and assigned them each a bar code. 

– Shipped the bags. 

– I received an email that the bags were received and that I could expect a combined selling price of around $4,000. At this time all of the bags were accounted for. No one told me a bag was missing. They sent me a packing list for five bags, I was given an accurate and fair price for the five bags. Everything was in order. If a bag was missing, I’d assume this would have been the time to mention it. 

– All five bags were listed in my account. 

– Mid August I checked on the bags and they had all sold with the exception of the bag in question. I did not check on the remaining bag until mid September. 

– The bag had been removed from my account and when I made an inquiry, I was told the bag did not exist. 

What. Just. Happened? 

As soon as I discovered the bag was missing I called (the customer service rep said someone would call me shortly after looking into it, which never happened), emailed, and tweeted the company. When I hadn’t heard from them after a week I emailed them again. Finally I was told that there was camera footage from the warehouse. Thank goodness, right? Fail safes in place. Nope. I was told a week later that they could not locate the bag. So sorry. Please accept $200. I can’t tell you how sick to my stomach I felt after reading that email. 

The problem is I have no idea what I could have done differently. The bag was received and listed on my account. I should have paid closer attention, I guess. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. 

I have no idea what happened. Like I said, this is a reputable company and I’ve had positive experiences with them in the past but the way this was handled was (is…I’m not letting it go. I want to see that camera footage along with proof that they confirmed every LV SpeedyB 35 in mono print sold between 7-28 & 9-18 2017 was credited to the correct account) inappropriate and unacceptable. 

* As an amendment: I have all of my original emails concerning the consignment. After sending the bags they were received by a consignment specialist in the LA area. She held the bags, inspected the bags, and assigned them a value. It is 100% my fault that I did not realize that the bag in question was not named in the validation email. It was assessed and given a value, ironically enough, but not specifically named. I take full responsibility for not catching the error and I will post all of my email correspondence, but should that be a 1,000 dollar error? This woman had my bag in her hands. I’ve emailed her and am eagerly awaiting her response. My next step is to do a screencast of the email chain to send to customer service. I would like to believe that this is a clerical error and that somehow my bag was accredited to another account and not some “funny business” and at this point, I believe this is the case. Since tomorrow is Monday, I assume that I will hear from the company. I have no plans to reach out to them tomorrow since I’ve already sent several emails and tweets over the weekend. We shall see what happens. 

Finally Got Around to…

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Finally got around to posting the Gucci Belt Bag Review video. Again, not the greatest video but it gets the job done. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even end up using the bag for the rest of that day. I went to the gym and then transferred my things into a Louis Vuitton Eva clutch. There’s a bit of irony there since I hadn’t been using my Eva on account that I’d felt it was too small, but it’s a lot larger than the belt bag. I’m even getting use out of the six key ring holder I’d been regretting. Turns out I like the key holder better than I like having the keys loose on a ring in a bag after all…thanks Gucci belt bag. If it hadn’t been for the belt bag I would still have the Eva in my closet and be less enthused about the six key holder. Of course I’m back to the LV mini Palm Springs backpack. I just love that bag. It is absolutely perfect for my needs.